The Whole Product Manager: A Craftsmanship Approach To The Product of You


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Product Management is a multi-disciplinary domain. To be a craftsman requires mastery in both maker skills and meta skills. And a relentless pursuit of excellence and continuous learning.

A version of this presentation was given at Product Management Festival 2014, Zurich, ( and Austin & Silicon Valley ProductCamps 2014.

Published in: Business

The Whole Product Manager: A Craftsmanship Approach To The Product of You

  1. 1. An Approach to the Whole Product of You Prabhakar Gopalan Whole Mind Consulting @PGopalan
  2. 2. A li%le about me… Consul1ng, Systems Engineering, Product Management, Product Marke1ng & Corporate Strategy Founded or Contributed Early Stage Now Product Aus1n
  3. 3. Developer Code Designer Marketer Founder/CEO Portfolio Leads Company Sales Person salesforce Quota PRODUCT MANAGER: Show AND TELL Product Manager ? @PGopalan
  4. 4. Self-serving elephant metaphor Marketers Developers CEO Sales people @PGopalan PM
  5. 5. A better metaphor: The elephant and THE rider ANALOGY Marketers Developers Designers Sales people Team members @PGopalan PM Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt
  6. 6. Good PM Bad PM Ben Horowitz ‘Good PM, Bad PM’, 1998 Great PM The Craftsman @PGopalan
  7. 7. The Product Manager Population Power Law Distribution Curve Craftsmanship 1% Long Tail No. of Product Managers *Hypothe1cal @PGopalan
  8. 8. “the outliers” 5% <1% make it here The Product Manager Population Normal Distribution Curve # of Product Managers Most get stuck in the middle Craftsmanship We all start here *Hypothe1cal @PGopalan
  9. 9. How to not be here Stuck in the middle Craftsmanship @PGopalan
  10. 10. To do that we need to look at 01 Road to Product Management 02 Staying in Product Management 03 Developing the Craft @PGopalan
  11. 11. PM Education background Engineering MBA Others Mind The Gap PM Job background Technical (Dev/SE) Business Analyst Other PM Domain background Non SME SME What the pm does Own Product Vision & Strategy Enable Sales Articulate Product Positioning Determine Market Needs Craft Release Strategy Champion Customer Success ”Anecdata” @PGopalan
  12. 12. PM Education background Engineering MBA Others PM Job background Technical (Dev/SE) Business Analyst Other PM Domain background Non SME SME ? ? ? ”Anecdata” @PGopalan
  13. 13. The Traditional Approach To PM Career Development New PM Job What Do You Get Here? 3 day PM Training Course Back to Work Congratulations! You are now ‘Certified’ Along with X,000 other Alumni @PGopalan
  14. 14. Climbing the corporate PM Ladder VP Product Management Director ? Product Management Years? If you are Lucky @PGopalan
  15. 15. Adopt Continuous Learning Build a Roadmap of “katas” 0 1 02 03 Here’s a 3-Step Proposal To Change @PGopalan Take a Holistic approach
  16. 16. Writing Sketching Wire framing /Prototyping Quantitative Analysis Infographics UX/UI/IxD HTML, CSS, CMS, Git, More… Maker Skills More Presentation /Story Telling Product Analytics More More @PGopalan
  17. 17. Meta Skills Emotional Intelligence Leadership Influence Strengths Curiosity Decision Making More.. ? @PGopalan
  18. 18. KATA @PGopalan
  19. 19. Assess KATA Practice Improve @PGopalan
  20. 20. Your Product has a roadmap. Do you have one for yourself?” “
  21. 21. Illustrative Roadmap for Presentation Skills Books MOOCs Workshops Be a Better Speaker Practice Garr Reynolds Donna Wong Andrew Abela Stephen Few Edward Tufte It’s a continuous journey… @PGopalan
  22. 22. The horizontal generalist I T A The vertical expert The collaborating expert The exceptional one T & A SHAPED SKILLS: What is your type? @PGopalan
  23. 23. Dieter RAMS: inspiring product design 1956 1961 1978 @PGopalan
  24. 24. Marc Newson: inspiring product design 1983 1986 2014 @PGopalan
  25. 25. Product Management is an Inter-Disciplinary Domain always be learning 10,000 Hours? 6 Months? ABLe @PGopalan
  26. 26. craftman product manager Invest in your future Time Money Efforts Pursuit of excellence Be deliberate Thinking Learning Practicing Throwing out stuff @PGopalan
  27. 27. Thank you Prabhakar Gopalan Whole Mind Consulting @PGopalan F o r p r e s e n t a t i o n & r e s o u r c e s S i g n u p a t C r a f t s m a n p m . c o m